Togetherness – Story

Juan always attended Sunday services at his parish. But then he began to find that the pastor always said the same things, so he stopped going to church.<>

On a cold winter’s night two months later, the pastor paid him a visit.<>

“He must have come to try to convince me to go back,” Juan thought to himself. He imagined he could not tell the real reason: those boring sermons. <>

He had to find an excuse, and as he was thinking he pulled two chairs up close to the hearth and began talking about the weather.<>

The pastor said nothing. Juan, after some vain attempts to start up a conversation, sat in silence too. They both sat there without speaking, just looking at the fire for close to half an hour.<>

Then the pastor rose, and with the help of a branch that had not yet burned, pulled an ember aside and placed it far from the fire.<>

The ember, without enough heat to go on burning, began to go out. Juan quickly tossed it back into the middle of the fire.<>

“Good night,” said the pastor, rising to leave.<>

“Good night and many thanks,” answered Juan. “No matter how bright it is, an ember removed from the fire will end up going out quickly.<>

“No matter how clever a man may be, far from his neighbors he will never manage to conserve his heat and his flame.”<>

Paulo Coelho<>

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